United Way and Organized Labor: Working Together to Fight For Our Community
During the past year, the United Way’s Department of Labor Participation continued successful partnerships with the Lackawanna and Pocono Workforce Investment Boards. The Department also continued its work with the Northeast Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center to promote manufacturing in our region, retain jobs and create new employment opportunities for displaced workers.
The Department continues to be an integral part of the Commonwealth’s Rapid Response Team—meeting immediately with over 300 displaced workers to quickly help them access important services during unemployment, including the distribution of an informational “Services for the Unemployed” brochure, available through the rapid response team, online and at the CareerLink of Lackawanna County.
The Department was pleased to once again support the Letter Carrier Branch 17’s successful Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive to help fill the shelves of area food pantries and supported our local veterans through the Scranton Lackawanna Human Development Agency’s creation of a Veteran’s Resource Council to help our nation’s veterans here at home.
The Department proudly carried on the tradition of honoring an individual or group from the ranks of organized labor with the William E. Cockerill, Sr. award, presented this year to Walter Klepaski, a retired member of Laborers' International Union Local 130 and former Labor Liasion for the United Way of Wyoming Valley. Whether helping guide dislocated workers, handling information andreferral calls or helping to fill food pantries, Walter's career exemplified service above self.
Pictured at right: The United Way presented a Labor Award to the Pennsylvania Social Service Union (PSSU) Local 668, employed by the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging in recognition of their outstanding support through the annual campaign. From left are: Gary Drapek, United Way president; Bill Cockerill, United Way AFL/CIO Labor Liaison; Stacy White, aging care manager and union steward for PSSU Local 668 and Jason Kavulichh, director of the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging.